Shotgun blasting out of a fiberglass boat?


December 31, 2011, 03:50 PM
A friend says he will use his 12 Ga to blast a hole in the side of his fiberglass cabin cruiser in the event that a fire makes getting out the usual way impossible.
Are there any studies on shotgun penetration of fiberglass?

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December 31, 2011, 03:52 PM
I know of no studies right off hand.

But he better have a lot of shells & time on his hands unless he can crawl through a ragged 2" rat hole.
Cause at "inside the boat" range, that is all one shot is gonna do to the hull.

On the other hand, if it's a big cabin cruiser?
A shotgun very likely wouldn't penetrate a Fiberglas hull that thick.

I'd guess at a few feet away?
All the buckshot would bounce right back at him and put him out of his misery before the fire killed him.


T Bran
December 31, 2011, 03:54 PM
Hope he has lots of ammo cause fiberglass is pretty tough stuff especially in cabin cruiser thickness.
I think I'd rather have a chainsaw or an extinguisher.

Mauser lover
December 31, 2011, 03:55 PM
Run fast through the fire, and hope for the best, unless he has a USAS 12 or some such thing.

December 31, 2011, 03:56 PM
No way and I have seen many glass boats burn...its fast and nasty but his idea is just this instance his money would be well spent on prevention.

Carl N. Brown
December 31, 2011, 04:06 PM
Kate Beckingsale can do a stunt like that in the Underworld movie universe (with the help of a special effects crew) but Mythbusters could not replicate the same stunt with real guns.

With a shotgun, an 18 inch diameter escape hole would have a circumfrence of 54+ inches; with a shotgun charge making a 2" hole at close range, making an escape hole would require 27 shots with touching or near touching holes.

December 31, 2011, 04:58 PM
yes it is a big boat 50' or so.

December 31, 2011, 05:24 PM
All he has to do is get to a clear space on the open deck, put the muzzle of the shotgun to the deck, pull the trigger, and the kick from that shotgun should launch him clear off the boat and deposit him in the water like 20 feet from the burning wreckage...:D:evil::p

I've shot at a fiberglass boat with everything from .22 to 10 gauge (It was an old one that used to sit in my friend's backyard. Was his ex's... long story...) We never managed to punch a clean hole through the fiberglass, it was always a nasty ragged hole that would leave sharp fibers sticking out every which way. I wouldn't trust my "escape hatch" if it were edged with such a hazard...

He should get some more fire extinguishers and use the mariner shotgun for it's intended purpose: Those nasty mutant zombie killer whales.

Lord, I apologize for that right there...

December 31, 2011, 06:16 PM
...mutant, zombie, killer whales!? Words fail me trying to describe the mental image...:D


December 31, 2011, 06:21 PM
Modern fiberglass boats are cored, with a variety of materials and are substantially less dense than boats like the old Bertrams and Chriscrafts and Pacemakers which as were all boats of that genere..solid fiberglass, and thick too. Pacemaker used to actually advertise their boats as bullit proof...

December 31, 2011, 06:31 PM
Money would be better spent on an escape hatch. Or automated fire suppression system.

December 31, 2011, 07:03 PM
I don’t know; it might work. Punch some holes below the waterline – boat sinks, extinguishing fire – owner dons scuba gear and swims to surface.

It seems like more of a Plan B type of option though. :scrutiny:

December 31, 2011, 07:10 PM
Functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and an Emergency Escape Hood respirator are a better plan.

December 31, 2011, 09:08 PM
Yeah fiberglass boats are some tough stuff. I'd say he'd be much better off with a full auto mac or uzi and about 10 spare mags at least then he could draw a circle, and even then that'd be a very last ditch effort not to mention the expense and legalities it'd probably be MUCH easier to get full fire fighting gear and a fire pump and hose.

Seriously tho some fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, a couple good big fire extinguishers, maybe some of those automatic dry chem systems like they use in kitchens? This is for garages but it seems like it'd be about perfect for say like an engine room or such

December 31, 2011, 10:05 PM
Yeepers... just when I figger we've heard all the dumb ideas possible.

In the event that actually unfortunately did happen, your friend would die screaming. It's a hideous image, so encourage him to get alarms and fire supression installed, if he doesn't already have it.

December 31, 2011, 10:14 PM
1+ on the fire suppression equipment. Of course a golf ball sized piece of C4 would make his escape hatch quickly with a shaped charge!

January 1, 2012, 12:00 AM
When I lived in a small travel trailer, I was advised that my escape plan should similarly involve blasting a hole in the wall with a shotgun. Even though I couldn't articulate why, I knew it was a dumb idea.

January 1, 2012, 12:07 AM
Well, if we could only get some of those shotgun shells they use in the Movies, it would work for sure.

One shot and you could walk out the hole in the hull standing up.

The water on the outside would probably be parted for several yards to, so there would be no high pressure leak pinning you to the opposite side of the boat until the pressure equalized and the boat sank.


Mauser lover
January 2, 2012, 02:10 AM
Still like my running quickly idea...........
hmmmm..... what if you put some baking soda into several hundred shotshells and SHOT OUT the fire :D
That way he could still use his shotgun for his escape idea and not completely kill the boat

(sarcasm, if you couldn't tell)

January 2, 2012, 05:30 AM
NO, NO, NO...Tell him to put a scuba tank next to the hull then shoot the scuba tank. The explosion will blow a hole in the side of the boat, AND kill all the sharks for miles.

Sav .250
January 2, 2012, 06:47 AM
Some folks can dream up the darndest "escape" procedures. :)

January 2, 2012, 10:26 AM
Tell your friend to scrap the shottie and invest in a fire extinguisher. It's likely required by law anyway.

January 3, 2012, 05:47 PM
Thanks guys, I forwarded your comments he knows I dont think it will work.

January 3, 2012, 05:52 PM
I can see it ... he shoots bbs bounce back he goes blind and never makes it past the fire :scrutiny:

January 3, 2012, 07:03 PM
He'll run out of ammunition or die of smoke inhalation first before he gets a hole big enough to escape through. Better if he didn't base his emergency plans on TV or movie silliness.

January 3, 2012, 07:09 PM
How about like a pound of Tannerite - that should get him out.

January 3, 2012, 10:23 PM
Wouldn't a hatchet be a lot more effective?

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